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Campbell rallies No. 19 CU in upset of No. 4 Benedictine
By Chris Megginson, Campbellsville University Sports Information
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- Former Rutgers University guard D'Von Campbell scored a collegiate career-high 24 points in his NAIA debut Friday to lead No. 19 Campbellsville University past No. 4 Benedictine College, 71-61.
The win is Campbellsville's first over an NAIA Top 5 team since upsetting No. 3 Georgetown on the road in December 2012. The season opener was the first of eight games CU will play against NAIA Top 25 programs before Christmas.
"I told our guys before the game, 'You need to embrace the opportunity to play a highly ranked opponent, especially at home. It's a challenge but a great opportunity also,'" CU head coach Keith Adkins said. "It was a great basketball game to start the season."
Campbell scored 22 of his points in the second half, including six free throws in the final minute to ice the game. In addition to his scoring, the senior from Arlington, Texas added five rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers. His previous scoring high before Friday was 21 points twice at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) in 2012-13.
"Zero turnovers is absolutely incredible," CU head coach Keith Adkins said. "That's what we have to have from him. He's a shooting point guard. He's going to shoot it better than he did tonight, and I think what we saw is just the tip of the iceberg. I think this kid has a lot of talent. He's a fierce competitor and loves to play the game. When you've got those things along with his ability, you get a stat line like that."
The Tigers trailed most of the night, falling behind by seven points, 11-4 and 23-16, early before Quin Richardson hit two deep 3s to pull Campbellsville within a point, 23-22, with six minutes remaining in the first half. While the Ravens pulled away again, Rob Robinson hit a 3 off a steal with 2:35 to play to pull back within a point, and then Elliot Young gave the Tigers their first lead, 30-29 with a pair of free throws in the final two minutes.
CU led 32-29 at halftime, but Jallen Messersmith and Jake Schannuth teamed up for a 6-0 run to start the second half to regain the Ravens' lead, 35-32. The duo finished the night with 17 points each to lead Benedictine.
The Tigers tied it a few times during the second half, and then took the lead, 54-52, on a Campbell three from the top of the key with 3:30 to play.
Benedictine quickly tied it, but Campbellsville went on a 9-0 run, capped by a 3 from Miles Rice in the corner off an assist from Frank Agholor with 1:23 to play, making it 63-54. Rice finished with nine points.
"Give both of those guys credit. We needed those shots bad, because we didn't shoot it great," Adkins said.
CU went on to hit all eight of its free throws, six by Campbell and two by Darius Clements, in the final minute.
Campbell, Robinson, Agholor, Damontre Harris and Shawn Johnson all made their CU debut Friday.
Harris, a transfer from the University of Florida and former SEC All-Defensive Team selection at South Carolina, brought the crowd to a thunderous roar in the first half with a dunk and several blocks through the game. While some of the blocks were negated by fouls away from the play, Harris finished the game with four blocks and four steals to lead Campbellsville's defense.
"I don't think there was a question that he is a presence in the post with his ability to block shots. We've really talked with him recently about changing shots instead of blocking them, and the last five minutes of the game, I bet they had three or four turnovers because of his presence," Adkins said. "His presence in the paint is going to change things for us defensively. This was a hard team to guard ... And I thought we did well on defense tonight, except for giving up 10-of-17 from 3."
Campbellsville and Benedictine will meet again in two weeks on Nov. 15 in Atchison, Kan. Tipoff will be 7 p.m. EST.
"Both of us are going to be better the next time we play, but we have to go to their place and that's going to be a huge challenge," Adkins said.
The 15th annual Lou Cunningham Classic will resume Saturday with Lindsey Wilson College (0-0) meeting Benedictine (0-1) at 2 p.m. EDT, followed by Campbellsville (1-0) and No. 24 (NAIA DII) St. Thomas University (0-1) at 4 p.m.
This story was posted on 2014-11-01 08:58:02
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